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Horse Safety and problematic horses

Safety and primarily horse safety must be at the heart of any good horsebox design. For KPH our ethos continues to be manufacturing the safest possible horse transport for our customers and their horses. Planning and manufacturing around worst case scenarios generated a considerable list of safety items.

Here are just a few considerations we take into account and include as part of our horsebox design:

Colours and making an inviting entry and horse area, soundproofing and reducing vibration and rattles (our manufacturing process reduces sound and vibration by over 40%), sharp edges and cappings, strength under accident conditions, grip and finish of horse area and ramp, internal sizes, airflow, ventilation and vehicle exhaust gasses, heat, stress in transit, stress when standing, surveillance with a view to problematic travellers, load height and vehicle sway, ramp angle, safety paddings, visual and audible warnings, payloads, tie rings and hay net rings, chemical washing and steam cleaning, construction strength, build and individual component longevity, smooth ride characteristics, bespoke breast bar heights and stall widths.

We then considered behavioural characteristics; horse boredom, kicking, rearing and pawing as priorities. Finally at hand over, we demonstrate our horsebox safety features to customers.

Through design we have reduced as much risk as possible and we are constantly reviewing and developing safety features for our builds. Fortunately, our bespoke design exactly tailored to customers’ horses adds another level of safety and we can report very few incidents in more than twenty years of manufacturing.

Unfortunately there are always unpredictable events or circumstances we cannot plan for including other road users, or even external influences such as loud noises. Some horses simply present with problematic or ingrained behaviour and then there are the few who are first time offenders.

New Technology for Horse Safety

Within the industry, rearing horses or ponies are the hardest thing to design for. We see plenty of reactive designs, either driven by sales or dealing with the serious after effects of rearing. Reading a review of horse transport safety the study explains that 51% of reported incidents involve horses rearing.
Looking to the future and further development of our horsebox safety, we want to offer our KPH customers preventative solutions rather than ones that deal with serious incidents after they occur. To this end we contacted Equi Travel Safe and started a dialog that led to further research and eventually a sample harness and field test.

The results were so impressive we now fit part of the system as standard into our Aeos horseboxes. Plus, for customers with more problematic horses we can add the full Equi Travel Safe system at any time in the future.

  • The Equi Travel Safe helps prevent the horses from rearing/jumping over the breast bar or onto lockers
  • Designed to make horse transport as relaxed as possible for horse and owner. This effective aid is not only the simplest but one of the most effective solutions.
  • Thanks to it’s clever design, the horse is free to move, balance and relax.
  •  The Equi Travel Safe really does take the stress out of travel.

Equi Travel Safe testimonial

Deborah is one of our customers with an Aeos 4.5 tonne Hybrid horsebox and a 16.3 Irish Sports horse who exhibits some challenging behaviour. We modified our design with extra padding etc and although it was much safer, it did little to prevent the rearing and travel issues. After contacting Equi Travel Safe and talking through the problem we decided to use this horse as a case study. It is worth pointing out we have no affiliation with the company, they just have an excellent product that fits our ethos perfectly and makes horse transport safer for problematic horses.

From Deborah:

Hi Kevin

Thanks for your call to check in on how the Equi Travel Safe is working for us.

I’m delighted to hear you are doing a blog on horses with travel issues. I read so many posts on forums from people with similar issues to what I was experiencing and there needs to be more awareness of this product as it could help a lot of people.

Safety for my horses travelling is of utmost importance to me. Since owning my own horsebox I have only ever had KPH and I know this is core to what you do so I knew you’d be there for us when I approached you with a travel issue.

December 2016 I traded in my much loved KPH 7.5 tonne horsebox for a new Aeos 4.5 tonne Hybrid horsebox. I am still thrilled with it.

My 16.3 Irish Sports Horse has always given us challenges when out on the horsebox, thankfully not so much loading or on the move, but when he’s standing – he becomes impatient.

As you know, we made a few modifications to the horse area and I appreciate all your help with this, however, when he learned that he could sit back on his hocks and launch himself over the partition or onto the tack locker at the time it seemed like a stallion box was the only option and I had to do something as we wouldn’t travel again with this horse, it was a matter of time until something terrible happened.

You mentioned the Equi Travel Safe but you didn’t have a case study of one being on one of your boxes so I think we were both a bit sceptical at the time……. but it was worth a try…….

Kevin, it works.
It has changed our life.
No longer do I have to take multiple people out with me when I travel for fear of what he’s going to do if he decides it’s one of those days.
I have no evidence of this but I truly believe he feels safe when he’s wearing it. He still has the odd moment when he starts trying to climb but when he realises he can’t lift his shoulders he just stands there eating his hay.
For the first time since I have owned this horse I have been to a show on my own.
I now go training weekly on my own.
I do have the odd meltdown when a hear someone else’s horse kicking off in the horsebox but I know it can’t be mine…….

Horses jumping on tack lockers is a massive problem.
This product solves it….

I really do hope that one day this is fitted in every horsebox as safety standard.

I’m very much looking forward to reading your blog. If you need any more anecdotal evidence or context let me know.

Best Regards

Deb

Conclusion

It addresses a problem mostly glossed over, it works perfectly and it has been thoroughly tested.

In fact it is so good we have incorporated Equi Travel Safe into our safety features on the Aeos horsebox range as standard.

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Any queries or questions?